In: , ,
On: 2005 / 09 / 15
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Google's Blog Search has already one benefit : it appears that the debate about "full content" or "partial content" feeds (i.e. reproducing in your RSS feeds whole posts, or just the 50 first words) is back. Indeed, Google indexing only feeds at the moment, it appears much smarter to make it read the whole text instead of some irrelevant introduction if you want referral hits in return. This is good news. Spread the word : partial content feeds suck.

Five reasons why full content syndication is better than coitus interruptus syndication :

  • Introduction = untargetted keywords.
    Relevant content and keywords are not in the 50 first words (or if they are, your posts are too long :). When a bot indexes whole posts and not just first words, it will know what you are blogging about. Otherwise, it just won't. Don't expect it to send you referrals in return.
  • RSS users don't click ads
    Readers who use RSS aggregators with your feed are regular readers. Regular readers don't click ads. Forcing them to check the web version of your site won't increase your revenue, it will, at best, increase your bandwidth usage, and at worst, make readers unsubscribe from your feed and read someone else on the same topic who gives them full content, cream, and topping.
  • Other bloggers on the same topic give full content feeds
    So why would readers bother to check your feed then check your site, when they can have all the information at once from another site ? Maybe unless you are the only expert on earth about some uberniche topic, think about this. You have competitors.
  • Short feeds don't spare bandwidth
    I swear I've read this argument in favor of partial contents. But obviously, producing short content feeds to spare bandwidth is dumb : you're asking readers to check the HTML version of your posts, and "a HTML page with 1/3 the traffic is using over 30 times the bandwidth" (photmatt's experiments)
  • There are better ways to make readers come to your site
    You want readers to check your nice hand crafted CSS layout as well as reading your writing ? You want them see your shiny ads ? You simply want them to meet and interact with others readers ? Ah ! That is the key. Create discussions, ask your readers what they think about some subject, request feedback on a particular concern. Unless someone smart spreads a new technology that allows reading and commenting from within an RSS reader, this will make readers visit your site, not just your feed.

Actually, there is only one reason that looks sensible and compatible with short feeds : avoiding automatic reblogging of your content on another website. There are some content stealers over there, but honestly, if I really wanted to rip your substance, would a truncated feed prevent me from doing so ?
Of course, WordPress users could simply install Better Feed plugin and add a copyright notice to each feed item.

Spread the word. Short feeds suck.

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This entry "Five Reasons Why Partial Content Feeds Suck." was posted on 15/09/2005 at 3:16 pm and is tagged with , ,
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11 Blablas

  1. Nice list, thanks!

  2. Zoli Erdos says:

    I could not agree more… and the baby is cute :-)

  3. Zoli's Blog says:

    Google Blog Search: When to Use Full Feed vs. Excerpts

    (updated) “Is this the death knell for Technorati, et. al? “ – asks Charlene about Google’s entry to the Blog Search space.  I suspect I know the long-term answer for that, but for now let’s look at what Technorati’s own Niall Kennedy …

  4. Fritz says:

    Reason number 6: If you tag, the tag isn't in the partial feed. And supports search by tag.

  5. Kris News says:

    there could me more info?

  6. […] MacManX also gave me a link to this article, which hammered the last nail into my partial feed's coffin. So to speak. […]

  7. […] Of course, Ozh makes a good point, in that the RSS aggregation sites will have an easier time indexing if you do full text RSS, which may get you more interested readers. […]

  8. […] you think giving partial feeds is good for you, please read here, here or here. You are likely to change your […]

  9. Stephen R says:

    Damnit Ozh, your blog just said I hadn't filled out name and email (which I had) and then ate my comment!

    Short version: Sometimes more complex posts are clarified by formatting and such, which is lost on a feed. For those I want to break it with a "more" tag, and the feed should follow that preference.

    I'll look zat your plugin.

  10. Binh Nguyen says:

    Forgive me if I'm wrong but… I clicked on your feed and saw that it's not full feed.

    I am trying to enable full content feed for my blog too but seem like impossible. Do you know how to fix this problem?

  11. Ozh says:

    Binh Nguyen » My feed is *totally* full feed. It's just that your browser is not a feed reader.

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